Elon MBB Begins CAA Action Hosting College of Charleston on Saturday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team begins its Colonial Athletic Association slate on Saturday, Dec. 31, against the College of Charleston Cougars inside Alumni Gym. The 23rd all-time meeting between the Phoenix and the Cougars will tip off at 2 p.m.


Watch the action exclusively on Phoenix All-Access and CAA.tv as Matt Krause will have the call on the broadcast. You can also listen to the action on the Elon IMG Sports Network on 104.5 FM, 1200 AM or on the TuneIn app. Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger will have the call from Alumni Gym and the pregame show begins at 1:30 p.m.

Beginning this season, Elon University has implemented a new policy for bags entering Alumni Gym. All bags entering the arena will be checked before fans reach the ticket booths at the facility. Multiple lines will be available and there will be specific lines for fans entering with no bags.

The following items will be prohibited from Alumni Gym:
• Weapons
• Explosives
* Alcoholic beverages
• Outside food and beverages
• Smoking and tobacco products
• E-cigarettes
• Containers or coolers
• Flags on poles
• Hoverboards
• Pets (except service animals)

For more information on ticketing, parking and directions to Alumni Gym, please visit the Basketball Game Day web page.

Saturday will be the 23rd all-time meeting between the Elon Phoenix and the College of Charleston Cougars. Both teams were Southern Conference rivals from 2003-2013. Elon and College of Charleston split the season series last year with the road team winning each contest. The Phoenix knocked off the Cougars 65-64 on Jan. 16, 2016 inside TD Arena thanks to Dainan Swoope’s game-winning three pointer. College of Charleston defeated Elon 66-62 on Feb. 13, 2016 inside Alumni Gym to split the season series.

Since making the transition to the Division I ranks, Elon is 9-8 all-time in conference openers. This marks the second year in a row and the second time in five years the Phoenix begins conference action at home. Prior to last season’s league opener on Dec. 31, 2015 against Northeastern, the last time Elon began conference play at home was on Nov. 30, 2011 when the Phoenix opened up against Furman. Matt Matheny has a career head coaching record of 3-4 in league openers.

Head coach Matt Matheny won his 116th game at Elon on Wednesday, Dec. 28, against Central Penn. With the win, he passed Robert “Bob” Burton (1986-93) for the fourth most in program history. Matheny currently has 116 career victories and is eight wins away from passing D.C. “Peahead” Walker (1927-1937) and moving into third all-time.

Elon has now held it’s opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field for three consecutive games. The Phoenix held Saint Peter’s (12/18) to 33.8% shooting, No. 5 Duke (12/21) to 36.5%, and Central Penn (12/28) to 35.5% from the floor.

Brian Dawkins is shooting 57.1% from the field and an incredible 62.5% from the three-point line. His shooting percentage ranks second in the CAA. Dawkins’ three-point shooting percentage is the best in the league thus far. Tyler Seibring is shooting 47.4% from the floor, which is 11th in the league.

The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 338 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The last time Elon did not make a three in a game was Jan. 30, 2006, at Georgia Southern when the team went 0-of-14 from deep. Elon is currently averaging 9.8 triples per game. The Phoenix averaged 9.5 made three pointers a game last season.

The Phoenix is 14-2 overall in Alumni Gym during the month of December dating back to the 2012-13 season. Prior to Elon’s 78-67 loss to UNC Asheville on Dec. 6, 2016, the last time that the Phoenix lost in December was on Dec. 1, 2012 against College of Charleston.

Through 13 games, Elon’s Division I opponents (11 teams) are a combined 73-60 this season. Seven of those 11 teams have a winning record and three of them currently rank in the NCAA’s top-100 RPI rankings. The maroon and gold’s lone non-Division I opponents, William Peace and Central Penn, are a combined 19-9 overall this season.

The Elon University men’s basketball team cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Nov. 28, earning a No. 23 ranking. Elon held the No. 23 ranking for two weeks, also appearing in the Dec. 5 poll. The Phoenix has since dropped out of the top-25 and is currently receiving eight votes. It was Elon’s first appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 since Feb. 4, 2013, when the Phoenix earned a No. 25 ranking. College of Charleston is ranked No. 22 in the latest poll from Dec. 26. UNCW is moved up to No. 3. Hofstra is receiving nine votes.

The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll is now in its eighteenth season of existence. The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast, Western Athletic.

The 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship is scheduled for March 3-6 in North Charleston, S.C., at the North Charleston Coliseum. Last year, UNCW topped Hofstra in the championship game to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars (9-4) are looking to build off a 77-59 victory over Western Carolina on Dec. 22. College of Charleston has played a challenging non-conference slate, which includes UCF, Wake Forest, Villanova and Davidson. Joe Chealey is the team’s leading scorer (14.5 ppg) and ranks No. 27 nationally in free throws made (71) this season. He has gone 22-for-25 from the charity stripe over the last three games against East Carolina, LSU, and Western Carolina. Defensively, CofC ranks No. 14 in the country in scoring defense (59.9 ppg) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (28.0%).

Elon continues its conference-opening slate on Monday, Jan. 2, against the reigning CAA Champion UNCW. The game inside Trask Coliseum will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on CAA.TV.